Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Portraits of the Mind

The practice of Buddhism ultimately can lead to an understanding of the true nature of mind. This book, Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century [Hardcover] approaches the subject from a mechanical point of view and assumption that mind resides only in the brain. A very informative book, understanding how a car works its engine, care and maintenance can surely makes us better drivers.

Portraits of the Mind follows the fascinating history of our exploration of the brain through images, from medieval sketches and 19th-century drawings by the founder of modern neuroscience to images produced using state-of-the-art techniques, allowing us to see the fantastic networks in the brain as never before. These black-and-white and vibrantly coloured images, many resembling abstract art, are employed daily by scientists around the world, but most have never before been seen by the general public. Each chapter addresses a different set of techniques for studying the brain as revealed through the images, and each is introduced by a leading scientist in that field of study. Author Carl Schoonover's captions provide detailed explanations of each image as well as the major insights gained by scientists over the course of the past 20 years. Accessible to a wide audience, this book reveals the elegant methods applied to study the mind, giving readers a peek at its innermost workings, helping us to understand them, and offering clues about what may lie ahead.
About the Author
Carl Schoonover is a doctoral candidate in neurobiology and behavior at Columbia University, where he is a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow.

A human skull inscribed by a nineteenth-century practitioner of phrenology. According to this now discredited theory, bumps on the skull betray the volume of the brain areas beneath each one, and thus can be employed to divine a subject’s cognitive or moral strengths and weaknesses Photograph: Eszter Blahak/Semmelweis Museum

Photomicrograph of the microscopic blood vessels that carry nutrients to neurons in the brain, obtained with a scanning electron microscope. This sample, from human cerebral cortex, shows a large blood vessel at the surface of the brain (top), which sends down thin, densely branched capillaries to deliver blood throughout the entire cortex Photograph: Alfonso Rodríguez-Baeza and Marisa Ortega-Sánchez (2009)

Image taken from a transgenic “Brainbow” mouse that enables neuroscientists to distinguish between neighbouring, densely packed neurons by illuminating them in different colours. This photomicrograph shows a few of the many neurons that are found in the neocortex Photograph: Tamily Weissman, Jeff Lichtman, and Joshua Sanes (2007)

RRP: £22.50
Price: £13.13 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery.
If you have mind to, Buy Now.
Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tayview 29th November North Fife

Snowbound since Saturday night, the snow plough came by at midday giving purpose to digging the car out. An hour or so in Newburgh proved almost too long as driving back was interesting given the intervening snowfall and single car width clearish space, fortunately I didn't meet anyone. I used to have snow chains, now lost. In the UK it seems we are never fully prepared for extreme weather, schools close, buses and trains stop and no flights from the major airports. What are we like?

The instant I left home the snow had started again.

Tayview 29th November.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ornament of Stainless Light: An Exposition of the Kalacakra Tantra

Ornament of Stainless Light: An Exposition of the Kalacakra Tantra (Library of Tibetan Classics) [Hardcover]
The premier volume of Thupten Jinpa's thirty-volume LIBRARY OF TIBETAN CLASSICS, to be inaugurated to coincide with the Dalai Lama"s conferral of the initiation rite of Kalachakra in Toronto in April 2004. The Kalachakra (literally, "Wheel of Time") tantra, a core practice of Tibetan Buddhism, is a method for transforming the universe by working with the body and mind. This first volume of the LIBRARY OF TIBETAN CLASSICS Series was hand-picked by the Dalai Lama - who recognized it as the finest possible explication of this practice - and overseen by Thupten Jinpa, whose work has been indispensable to Tibetan Buddhism, both in the West and on the whole. 672 pages.
RRP: £30.00
Price: £28.50 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver
Buy here.Ornament of Stainless Light: An Exposition of the Kalachakra Tantra (Library of Tibetan Classics)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tayview 27th November

Today November 27th, bright but really cold. Views of The River Tay from Flisk and Black Earnside on my way to Newburgh North Fife.
I arrived home this evening to hear that one of our chickens had disappeared, probably taken by a Sparrow Hawk or other raptor given that all the other chickens and ducks were spooked and in hiding under the hedge and in their houses. It was a young hen and not a cockerel which would be less missed. It's difficult to protect them from airborne predators. The hapless chicken was just coming up to point of lay. Harrumph.

Tayview from Black Earnside Newburgh.

Tayview from Flisk Nov 27th.

Tayview 27th November looking to Errol over the exposed sandbanks.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Buzzard North Fife

Buzzard casting an eye on me, it's not often one can get so close but it was probably as fed up about the early winter condition as I am. The wind is off the north east bringing cold arctic weather. When it's off the east snowfall can be high, at the moment it's patchy, lets hope it stays that way. The buzzard population in north fife has increased considerably of the last 10 years, they fly in groups calling to each other or alone where they are often mobbed by smaller birds particularly crows.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Tibetan Book of the Dead. First complete translation

The Tibetan Book of the Dead: First Complete Translation: The Great Liberation by Hearing in the Intermediate States (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]
"Extraordinary … this work will be a source of inspiration and support to many" His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

One of the greatest works created by any culture and overwhelmingly the most influential of all Tibetan Buddhist texts in the West, The Tibetan Book of the Dead has had a number of distinguished translations, but strangely all of these have been partial abridgements. Now the entire text has not only been made available in English but in a translation of quite remarkable clarity and beauty. A comprehensive guide to living and dying, The Tibetan Book of the Dead contains exquisitely written guidance and practices related to transforming our experience in daily life, on the processes of dying and the after-death state, and on how to help those who are dying. As originally intended this is as much a work for the living, as it is for those who wish to think beyond a mere conventional lifetime to a vastly greater and grander cycle.
RRP: £12.99
Price: £9.09 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery.
Prepare yourself and others. The Tibetan Book of the Dead: First Complete Translation: The Great Liberation by Hearing in the Intermediate States (Penguin Classics)

Gyaltsab Rinpoche

Gyaltsab Rinpoche at Rumtek Monastery Sikkim 1978. In trawling through my archive I came across this image. More on Gyaltsab Rinpoche.

Tibetan Calligraphy Tashi Mannox

Eh-Wam water study calligraphy by Tashi Mannox. It's always a joy to see one's offspring being creative.

cause and effect
Chinese ink on Heavy water colour paper, 57x76 cm, 2007

The heavy debts of past negative actions are always collected by the law of Karma.
Equally any positive actions accumulated will result in the fruition of good Karma.

There is no rule in time to say when good and bad Karma will ripen, other than all the relevant causes and conditions come together for that particular ‘karma’ to manifest.

Generally, Karma can be defined as ‘personal karma’ and ‘collective karma’:
‘personal’ as a result of our own intention and action,
‘collective’ as a result of a unified conditioning, such as a collective intention and action, of a family, city, nation and as a world.

In this piece, the main word ‘Karma’ in Uchen script stands strong, supporting an accumulation of words that repeatedly read ‘cause and effect’.
cause and effect - Tibetan Calligraphy

Tayview 23rd November North Fife.

Tayview November 23rd. The weather being as it is I'm reluctant to go out prefering instead to beaver away at images and printing in a very warm studio space. This view is looking west from banklands in Newburgh North Fife at 4pm today.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Full Moon November 21st North Fife

Full Moon November 21st. Well there it is hazy with a halo, just one aspect of the ever changing nature of the sky in north fife.

The full moon of today, November 21, is called blue moon. It should be noted that blue moon would not actually be blue in color. The moon is only blue in name, not in color. The moon tonight will be the 3rd of the 4 full moons in a season. This is the reason that it is called blue moon.

By one contemporary description, a blue moon is the 2nd full moon in a year. According to this explanation, the second blue moon will draw closer to sight on August 31, 2012.

According to the calendar of the Maine Farmers, 3 full moons appear normally in one season, 3 in summer period and 3 in autumn. When it comes to blue moon, one season means the phase linking an equinox and a solstice or the other way around.

Thus, the full moon of today is a blue moon. Today’s blue moon is the 3rd full moon of this season’s 4 full moons. It should be noted that the creators of calendar name each full moon on the basis of the full moon's position as compared to that year’s 2 equinoxes and 2 solstices. It is quite convenient for the makers of calendar to name the 3rd, rather the 4th full moon a blue moon.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Believe - The Eddie Izzard Story [DVD]

Believe - The Eddie Izzard Story [DVD] A wonderful straight man who likes to dress up, complex and creative, in the watching of 103 minuets you will end up really loving him. A great present to oneself and/or others.

Hilarious and moving by turns, Believe is the story of triumph over adversity. Cameras followed Eddie on a stressful ‘comeback’ tour, and caught the story behind some of his best-loved material en route. Under time pressure and desperate for inspiration, comedian and actor Eddie Izzard delved into his own life story for new material. So began an accidental voyage into his past that paralleled his world tour and culminated in a moment of revelation about the source of his relentless drive.

Includes never-before-seen footage of Eddie’s student days, his chain escape on a unicycle as a street performer, the famous ‘wolves’ sketch and much more. A provoking and inspiring tale of how tragedy can be turned to laughter by sheer force of will.
Special Features

* Commentary
* Bleeped Audio Track
* Featurettes:
> Teddy Theatre
> The Photograph
> Vince Henderson Interview
> WWII: The Sequel Promos
> The Amazing Captain Keano Wolves Sketch
> The Eddie & Rob Street Show
RRP: £19.99
Price: £12.93 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery.
A great DVD. To buy now at 35% reduction.Believe - The Eddie Izzard Story [DVD]

Friday, November 19, 2010

Goodall Street Walsall West Midlands

Today I've been printing and scanning old photographs from my past. 30 odd years ago but still strong in my mind given the pictorial stimulus.

John Ocallaghan pictured at his great Aunt Mauds house, Caldmore, Walsall West Midlands.

36 Goodall Street Walsall West Midlands. A view from the 1st floor of my old studio in Walsall taken 36 years ago. The buildings are now refurbished and the courtyard glazed over. Below was occupied by Avery Scales on one side an engineer the other.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Prints North Fife

I had a wonderful day printing in the studio, I really enjoy to see hard copies instead of on a PC monitor. These 2 below are just some of frame and glazed prints for sale in Kit and Caboodle the High Street Newburgh.

Dandelion clock seeds all in order waiting for liberation on the winds.

Sunflower growing next to the Steeple Arts studios this year in Newburgh North Fife.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tayview 15th November

Tayview 15th November, yes it really is the start of winter, frost overnight which remains all day when in shadow. Brrr. I still find the views inspiring though.

The River Tay and sunlit Dundee.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Newburgh Remembers November 15th 2010

Newburgh remembers November 15th in honour of the dead from 2 world wars, those who defended this country. The traffic was stopped on the main road for the procession and minuets of silence, the only sounds were the odd cough and birdsong.

The flags are lowered in remebrance.

Wreaths are laid.

We were all piped in and out.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Scottish Climbing Year Book 2010 v 1 paperback

Scotland is full of wonderful climbs, this publication highlights some and as further volumns arise could become quite comprehensive.

Scottish Climbing Year Book 2010 v 1, The Stone Country-New Winter, Trad, Bloc and sport (paperback) The first volume of the "Stone Country Scottish Climbing Yearbook" is a collection of all the best new climbing in Scotland. This full colour yearbook includes brand new topos, features and photographs of the most exciting new venues and climbers in Scotland. Split into four seasons, we cover the very best of winter, sport, traditional and bouldering. The idea is simple - to inspire climbers to get out on the crags and blocs in 2010! This is the first photographic yearbook covering all climbing traditions in Scotland and the first volume in a new yearly series. It is published and edited by John Watson at Stone Country Press, publisher of "Bouldering in Scotland", "Stone Play" & "Essential Fontainebleau".
Price: £6.99 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery. See details and conditions. Scottish Climbing Yearbook: 2010 v. 1: The Stone Country - New Winter, Trad, Bloc and Sport

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Barry's Firework Bash North Fife

Well there we were, Five middle aged adults indulging in the the impermanent fizz, whizz bang whoosh of fireworks. It was cold, it was raining, the barbeque was in a struggle and yet for a brief moment or 2 we said Ah, wow but they're not like they used to be. Too long in the tooth, me thinks.

Barry's firework bash.

Oh yes, a bit of a fizz there.

Crackle crackle crackle.

Varied colours this time.

Now that's more like it.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Lindores House and Loch Nov 2010

Lindores House as viewed across Lindores Loch this autumn. Around were fishermen for pike on the shore and others from boats, winter is apparently the best time to fish for them, a fish to eat though with many small bones. Earlier this year.

Lindores House Garden with the rich autumnal colours appropriate for this time of the year.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Birnie Loch November 2010

Birnie Loch November 2010

Swans at Birnie loch.

Birnie Loch, North Fife is one of the free gems that can be enjoyed by anyone. Birnie Loch is located in North East Fife, Scotland, adjacent to the crossroads between the A91 and B937 roads. It is entirely artificial in nature, being a flooded pit formerly used for the extraction of sand or gravel. The extraction company decided to present the exhausted flooded pit to the local authority as a potential public resource. A competition was held to name it, and the name Birnie Loch was proposed by a local schoolgirl. This piece of water was the first in a series of such in the immediate vicinity to be so presented to the community, and the (younger) neighbouring Gadden Lochs have become a wildfowl preserve, complete with an observation hut for birdwatchers. Birnie Loch is also a preserve, but public access to the banks is not fenced off as it is for most of the neighbouring waters for the benefit of breeding birds. It has now matured into a small loch of albeit semi-cultivated appearance, and has been colonised by many varieties of wildlife including birds, fish, invertebrates, and water-loving plants of many sorts.

Stormy Day North Fife 8th November

Stormy day over the river Tay 8th November. The high winds of the prevailing depression quickly removing leaves and fruit as autumn really turns into winter. Brrrrr.

Wayside apples strewn about from the high winds showing the fruit abundance of this year.

North Fife Road November

North Fife road yesterday. This is on the way to Charlottetown it was wet and leaping about in the trees were red squirrels, they didn't hang about for a photo-shoot. Spectacular colours never the less.